There are a lot of things to love about Batman as he is a dark and serious vigilante/hero that decided that it was his responsibility to be the one to clean up the streets of Gotham City, which is a criminal-infested city that has become deeply entangled with the world of crime. But while the streets of Gotham may be harsh, the thing about Batman’s method is that he can also get harsh, but not to the point that he needs to kill. So, why doesn’t Batman ever kill?
Batman doesn’t kill because it is against his moral code as a vigilante that should never stoop down to the level of a common criminal. He knows that killing people is never the answer when it comes to solving crimes, and that’s why he never kills any of the criminals in his rogues’ gallery.
The thing about Batman is that he is one of the most morally complicated characters in the history of comic books because he does things that are borderline immoral. Still, he never tries to cross the line because he knows that it is important to ensure that he never does anything that would affect his conscience, including killing people. In that regard, let’s look at some of the reasons why Batman never kills people.
Batman’s parents were murdered
Batman’s entire character origin can be traced back to when his parents were murdered in a dark alley. He may have been born the son of a rich man that was influential in Gotham, but the thing about Bruce Wayne was that the death of his parents affected him so much that his entire childhood was reshaped when he saw a criminal gunning his parents down in front of his own eyes.
As such, Bruce knows what murder can do to the people close to a person that was killed, and that means that he doesn’t want anyone to go through what he did in his life, even if the people killed were criminals. He understands the trauma that a person has to go through when they see a loved one getting killed. As such, he doesn’t want to be the person that has to pull the trigger and be responsible for altering another person’s entire life.
The police are almost always involved
One of the things that we know from the comics is that Batman formed a professional relationship with Commissioner Jim Gordon, who learned to rely on Batman when it comes to some of the toughest cases. Batman often works with the police, especially if Gordon calls for assistance in a matter that only he can resolve. And we all know that murder is a crime.
That means Batman doesn’t want to end up on the wrong side of the law by killing someone. It might be true that vigilantism is a crime on its own, but it isn’t a morally wrong crime, unlike murder, which will always be against any kind of moral code. And for Batman to ensure that his relationship with the police stays good enough, he must ensure that he doesn’t kill anyone.
Killing can lead to more killing
The thing about killing is that it is difficult for just about anyone but ends up becoming easier to do after a person has already experienced how “easy” it is to pull the trigger to take someone else’s life. Murder is a slippery slope that Batman doesn’t dare to cross as he knows that someone like him can also end up killing more people if he decides to kill.
Murder, in a way, has a snowball effect that could lead to more killings if Batman were to start with one kill. He might kill the Joker today but may end up killing small-time crooks that pickpocketed an old lady in the near future. Batman knows what murder can do to a person’s psyche, so he never tried to go down that slippery slope.
Batman knows what he is capable of
Batman has always been known to be someone willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done as long as it doesn’t involve killing. But what if he started killing people? Then that would mean there would be no limits to what he is willing to do to win. And Batman knows what he is capable of.
He fears what he might do if he becomes a terrifying murdering vigilante that cleans up the streets of Gotham using the blood of criminals. Batman also knows that he isn’t the most mentally and emotionally stable man, which could mean that he might end up becoming the criminal he fought so hard his entire life to put behind bars. After all, we’ve seen a few alternate versions of Batman becoming feared villains due to their mental and emotional instability.
Robin needs a role model
Chief among all of Batman’s sidekicks and partners is Dick Grayson, who is the first person to wear the Robin mask. The thing about Dick is that he went through the same traumatizing experience of watching his parents get killed, which was why Bruce quickly decided to adopt him. Dick needed a role model in his life, and that means that Batman needed to be a good example to him so that he would never have to relive the traumatizing experience of losing his parents.
We also know that Batman failed once before when Jason Todd, another Robin, had different ideals and chose to be a murdering vigilante. Of course, his son, Damian Wayne, grew up around assassins and had a mindset that made him think that killing was normal. Batman needed to ensure that those working under him had a good enough role model. As such, he didn’t want to be the one to tell the different Robins under his wing that killing is okay as long as there’s a need to kill someone.
Gotham needs a good Example
Gotham is the worst city in terms of how immoral and crime-infested it is, and crime has become normal in this city. People rob, steal, and kill regularly in this city, and that means that the city needs a hero that could serve as a good example. Gotham is not as hopeless as it seems because some of the criminals were merely products of the circumstances they lived in. And for Batman to purge criminality in Gotham, he needs to set an example.
As such, Batman doesn’t kill because Gotham needs a hero that doesn’t kill. Killing should never be the norm, and if Batman were to kill criminals, then the other citizens of Gotham would also follow his lead.
Collateral Damage Needs To Be Avoided
As bad as the streets of Gotham are, Batman understands that there are still a lot of good people willing to do the right things. Plenty of innocent people walk the streets of Gotham, meaning they have just as much a right as any person to feel safe. And if Batman were to use lethal force when fighting criminality, the chances of him harming innocent people and bystanders would only increase.
Just imagine if Batman used guns and high-powered explosives. This could lead to higher rates of collateral damage. As such, the likelihood of him taking an innocent life would increase if he dealt with criminality using extreme or lethal force. And because he wants to avoid getting innocent people caught up in the mix of his vigilantism, he needs to make sure that he doesn’t use extreme force.
Batman Knows He Doesn’t Need To Kill
Batman was trained to be a ninja and an assassin, but he never tried to be one in Gotham. Instead, he armed himself with various weapons and gadgets that allowed him to defeat criminals without the need for him to go down the extreme path of murder. He knows how to pull his punches and use gadgets that were made to stun, incapacitate, and round up criminals without the need to kill them.
As such, he understands that the police were always there to clean up after his mess by taking the criminals in after Batman did his thing with them. He knows that he doesn’t need to kill to be effective. And while there may be criminals who have done the worst things possible, he still knows that he can beat them without resorting to extreme violence.
There Is A Process That Needs To Be Followed
As silly as it sounds for Batman to respect the law despite the fact that he is a vigilante, he still understands that there are processes that need to be followed. That means that the law can still rehabilitate criminals, as the purpose of putting criminals behind bars is to make sure that they can have a chance to set things right and change for the better.
Batman believes that even the biggest criminals can still be rehabilitated, which is why he never gave up on the Joker. Of course, we also know that there have been a few criminals that have been rehabilitated, as Harley Quinn is one name that stands out. And if Batman had killed Harley in the past, then he would have taken away her chance to redeem herself.
Why do you think Batman doesn’t kill? Let us know in the comments below!